Prince Harry spends first night away from Archie for charity polo match in Rome

The Duke of Sussex has spent his first night away from baby Archie, taking part in a fundraising polo match in Italy and enjoying a good night’s sleep.

Professional polo player Nacho Figueras, who captained Harry’s team, said the duke had begun a “very exciting part of his life” with the birth of his son, and after resting had been “excited” ahead of the match.

The event was held in Rome in aid of the duke’s Sentebale charity, to raise funds and awareness for the organisation’s work supporting children and young people living with HIV

Harry swapped a light blue jacket for a black and white polo shirt as he joined his teammates on the pitch.

​Before going into the club house, the duke posed briefly for a photograph with Mr Figueras.  

The teams then listened to national anthems before the game kicked off.

The Duke of Sussex shares a word with Argentine Polo player Nacho Figueras. (AP)

Mr Figueras, who was a guest at Harry’s wedding, was asked how the duke was coping with a new baby, born on May 6, and replied: “He’s doing great.”

He added: “I just saw him, he’s ready for the game and had a good night’s sleep, so we’re excited about being able to do a great job today for Sentebale, which is why we’re here.

“Being a father always changes you, he seems to be very, very happy, I think this is a very exciting part of his life. He was ready for it and I think he’s loving it.

“I always thought that he would be an amazing father because he has a great affinity for children – two weeks is very, very soon, but I’m sure he’s changed.”

Harry left his wife Meghan and his baby son behind to fly out a day ahead of the match, and spent Thursday practising at the venue, the Roma Polo Club.

The annual event has raised more than £6 million for the work of Sentebale since it was first held in Barbados in 2010.

Sentebale was founded by the duke and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso in 2006, to help the most vulnerable children and young people in Lesotho, Botswana and more recently Malawi get support to lead healthy and productive lives.

In the foreword to the Sentebale Polo Cup programme, Harry said the fight against Aids was being hampered by the stigma associated with the disease, which stopped young people being tested and others taking up the drugs and care on offer.

He added: “There has been great progress made worldwide in combating the Aids epidemic but HIV remains one of the leading causes of death for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Three out of four new HIV infections in 15 to 19-year-olds are among young women.

“Stigma is a major factor preventing young people knowing their HIV status and accessing life-saving treatment and care.

“Since 2006 we have been working hard to deliver programmes that help the most vulnerable children in Lesotho, Botswana and more recently Malawi get the support they need.”

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